Although there is no formal dress code, it feels appropriate to dress modestly and comfortably. In other words, long skirts serve the purpose well. It seems that I have a few suitable Sunday outfits for summer but not for these transitional months.
Not one to make a sport or pastime out of shopping, recently, I decided to check out some places for a long skirt that I could wear on Sunday.
I went to The Village in my old neighborhood, my favorite resale shop. It was a Green Dot Weekend (with special discounts on items marked with a colored sticker), and it was very crowded. I didn’t stay long.
Then I went to a couple strip malls on steroids. Anchored by a major discount retailer but not as big and overwhelming as a suburban shopping center, I checked out the racks at Marshall’s.
Slim pickings, for sure; a mish mosh of new spring arrivals, warm-weather vacation getaway tops and winter items tagged for clearance.
A deal is a deal, right? After a few tours of different sections within the store, I realized that there were no long skirts to try on.
I began looking at spring tops and winter items that had been marked down. When shopping for clothes, I often employ the same strategy as I do when wine shopping. I look at the original retail price then at the discount price. I tend to look more seriously at buys that represent a good value.
When I started thumbing through the clearance items, I came across a cotton-knit black dress with three quarter sleeves. It had a high scoop neck. Except for a little flare at the bottom, it was pretty simple – well, it was plain.
I gathered it, along with a few name brand tops and headed to the fitting room. I probably was juggling 6 hangers, just barely making the limit I could take into the fitting room at one time.
When I stopped looking for a particular thing, I SAW SO MANY THINGS THAT I WASN’T LOOKING FOR – things that maybe suited me in surprising ways.
I put a patterned long-sleeve tee and a highly reduced sheer Calvin Klein top in my TO KEEP pile.
Then I tried on the dress. It was so simple, and pretty much out of season. But it was a classic. With my natural curves and a scarf or jewelry, I could see pulling it from my closet for many occasions.
I don’t think I ever had a little black dress before, a go-to dress, and I was very happy about MY FIND.
I thought about the mental state I brought to the day’s shopping. It seemed that having a relaxed awareness rather than a single-minded focus was the key. I’m appreciative when I can slip into that space.
That I found a perfect little black dress (for $23.99, no less) is no small thing. (Okay, if I could find fashion forward shoes that don’t hurt my feet – that would be a miracle!)